Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Microbus integration in Kaunas (Lithuania)

Result description Integration of micro-bus services with the main bus and trolley bus services using a tendering process.

The aim of taxi/micro-bus integration is an increase in public transport reliability, accessibility and attractiveness. The wider issues that it aims to solve are related to the chaotic development of city transport. It is hoped that a satisfactory compromise for a role for private companies in a common PT system can be achieved.

So far this has been achieved:
- Increase of nearly 30 percent in the number of new, high quality minibuses in the city.
- Considerable reduction in the concentrations of some air pollutants (e.g. concentrations of nitrogen oxide in the city centre were reduced by almost 50% in years 2001-2002).

This has been the result of:
- Decrease in the number of minibuses by more than 18 percent;
- Decrease in the number of minibus routes in Kaunas by almost 30 percent;
- Slight decrease in the length of minibus routes, based on 2004 figures;
- Amount of fuel (buses) and electricity (trolleybuses) used depends on the length of routes and the number of public transport units in use.

From 2002 to 2004, the amount of electricity used by trolleybuses decreased by about 4 percent. The amount of fuel used by buses increased by almost 57 percent .

Kaunas is the first city in Lithuania to present timetables of minibus taxis together with timetables of buses and trolleybuses on the public transport website pages.

Who are the end-users of this result?
The large percentage of the population of public transport users in Kaunas - almost 64% of the population of Kaunas City. The most common reason for using public transport is for the daily return journey to and from work. This represents approximately 40% of users with the most common route being between the inner districts and the city centre.

Main innovative features/benefits (technical/commercial success factors)
Improved ecological situation and safer traffic conditions. Market or application sectors & potential applications It was a struggle to get the necessary rules and regulations changed because the companies running the private minibuses were very good at harnessing political will to support their interests. This meant that proceedings took much longer than expected.

Also we need to bear in mind that minibuses are a popular form of ‘public’ transport in Kaunas and that any attempt to curtail their growth or to regulate or restrict the way they operate perhaps needs greater public discussion before decisions are made. Potential barriers.

The implementation of some measures has proved more complex than initially foreseen from a technical, contractual, organisational, political, financial, institutional and juridical perspective. If measures are seen as restrictive, there are relevant political and psychological barriers.

Reported by

Kaunas City Municipality Transport Division
Sv. Gertrudos g.7
44290 Kaunas
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